- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 14 to 18 medium-sized Brussels sprouts
- 3 strips bacon, diced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced leeks or minced shallot
- 1 crisp apple such as Cameo, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady or Gala, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the mustard seeds in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar. Let soak for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Strain the soaked seeds and set aside; reserve the vinegar.
Trim the stem ends of the sprouts and remove any tough outer leaves. Run the sprouts through the 4-millimeter blade of your food processor; or simply cut them thinly, crosswise, with a knife. Place the shaved sprouts in a bowl.
Cook the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels.
In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the leeks and apples. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the leeks start to become translucent. Add the walnuts, cranberries, mustard seeds, reserved vinegar, maple syrup, celery seeds and cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until the dressing is nice and hot, about 1 minute.
Immediately pour the hot dressing over the shaved Brussels sprouts and toss in the cooked bacon if you are using it.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, and maybe a splash of vinegar or oil, if desired. The salad is perfect now but will be optimal for eating after resting for a few minutes to soften the sprouts and blend the flavors.